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this is "world news." tonight, whiteout. the record-breaking storm sends car after car crashing on the highway. in indianapolis today, a 40-car pileup. and we show you what it's like when a clear highway suddenly becomes a dangerous wall of white. on defense. the president's pick for defense secretary faces a blistering attack. will he get the job? while you were out. a new crime spree in los angeles reveals the new way thieves are targeting your home when you're away. and beyonce answers. by singing live at a press conference. ♪ ore the land of the free >> did her high notes and her words silence the critics?
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good evening. we begin tonight with that dangerous goliath of a winter storm. you can see it visible from space in an image released today. this storm has prompted 750 reports of severe weather on the ground. and a lot of drivers are learning the highway can turn into a deadly slick in just seconds. abc's meteorologist ginger zee takes us to a stretch of american highway that felt it the most. >> reporter: tangled and twisted on a detroit highway. this was the scene along a mile and a half stretch of i-75 today. at least 30 vehicles were involved in the crash. three people were killed, including two children believed to be siblings. the culprit? whiteout conditions from a single band of snow. >> only 15 minutes. that's all it takes.
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>> reporter: this is what it looked like inside that blinding whiteout. it's called lake effect snow. and it was created as cold air and wind passed over the warmer waters of lake michigan. lake effect snow squalls are notorious for changing conditions quickly. you can be driving along with perfect visibility then -- in seconds -- you can't see anything at all. fierce winds whipped up snow along indiana highways today, too. 40 cars piled up on i-70. this is part of that same system that's created weather bedlam around the nation, including that tornado, believed to have had winds of 150 miles an hour in adairsville, georgia. abc's steve osunsami visited with danny and katherine welch, sifting through what was left of their home. >> i found this one that has all of our names on it and our kids' names. >> reporter: daddy. that's you. >> reporter: the same vicious cold front brought spring-like floods that washed out roads and
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flipped cars in north carolina. >> when the levee broke, there was trash, there was limbs, even saw a tire was floating by. >> reporter: in parts of maryland, two to six inches of rain fell, making it a morning full of rescues. and then there was that wind. wind gusted over 70 miles per hour in connecticut, taking down power lines and trees. diane, i wanted to go back to that image inside the detroit whiteout today. now, if this happens, the recommendation is to gradually slow down, turn on your flashers and if you can get off the highway, do so. diane? >> again, you have to act fast. thank you so much, ginger zee reporting in tonight. and now, in washington today, one man entered the arena. chuck hagel, the purple heart recipient from the vietnam war, the former senator, nominated to be secretary of defense. his former colleagues met him with a fuselage of critical questions today, and abc's chief washington correspondent jonathan karl takes us about the fiery day.
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>> reporter: he's a vietnam veteran and former republican senator, but today chick hagel found himself and his judgment under attack by a fellow republican and vietnam vet. >> were you correct or incorrect when you said that the surge would be -- >> the most dangerous foreign policy blunder in this country -- >> since vietnam. were you correct or incorrect? >> well, i'm not going to give you a yes or no answer on a lot of things today. >> well, let the record show that you refused to answer that question. >> reporter: hagel eventually did answer, standing by his words on the iraq war, revealing something about the kind of defense secretary he hopes to be. >> i saw the consequences and the suffering and the horror of war. so -- i did question a surge. this going to be worth the sacrifice? we lost almost 1,200 dead americans during that surge. now, was it required? was it necessary? >> reporter: hagel would be the first defense secretary who saw combat as an enlisted soldier. as a poor kid from nebraska, he
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and his brother, tom, volunteered to serve in vietnam. the brothers served in the same infantry unit in 1968, both getting wounded, each crediting the other with saving their lives. >> i don't see the lens of every world event and whether we should use american power through the lens of vietnam. but it's part of me. >> reporter: hagel's service was praised -- >> i admire your service to your country. >> reporter: but he was criticized for being soft on iran and too tough on israel. at one point, criticizing what he called thelobby. today, he took that comment back. >> i should have used another term, and i'm sorry. and i regret it. >> reporter: and hagel seemed to get confused about iran, which he called an elected, legitimate government, stating president obama's position on pursuit of nuclear weapons. hagel is likely to be confirmed, but even supporters acknowledge he didn't have a familiarly strong performance today, saying that he still needs to learn
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more about the pentagon, telling the committee, quote, if confirmed, i intend to know a lot more than i do. those were his exact words, diane. >> it was a bruising day. thank you so much, jonathan karl. and, in alabama tonight, law enforcement officials are searching for enough wisdom to prevent a tragedy. a standoff is under way, a frightened 5-year-old boy held hostage in an underground bunker. his captor has a gun. so, what should police do next? abc's gio benitez is there. >> reporter: just beyond that line of trees, a 5-year-old boy named ethan is spending his third terrifying day in captivity. dozens of police and s.w.a.t. teams have the property in this tiny alabama town surrounded. hostage negotiators have been talking regularly to the kidnapper, 65-year-old jimmy lee dykes, through a ventilation pipe. >> that's an innocent kid, let him go back to his parents. he's crying for his parents and his grandparents and he does not know what's going on. >> reporter: police say the two
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are in a six by eight foot bunker four feet underground. >> i've actually seen the hole, the bunker he's in now. he's got steps made out of cinder blocks going down to it. >> reporter: authorities say the veteran has enough supplies to last for weeks. he is allowing the boy, described as a child with autism, to watch television and take medication sent down through that pipe. alabama state senator harri anne smith has been with the child's mother since the beginning of the standoff. >> ethan's mom did want me to convey a message to the community and the people of this area, that she's extremely grateful for all the prayers. that that's what's getting her through. >> reporter: the ordeal began tuesday, when the suspect stormed a school bus, demanding to remove children. a heroic bus driver, charles poland, was shot and killed trying to protect them. >> we're just hoping for that day that we can bring the little boy home. safely to his family. >> reporter: the motive for the kidnapping is not yet clear. and aside from saying that the
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suspect is, quote, sleeping some, authorities are releasing very few details about this, in hopes that it all ends peacefully. diane? >> thank you so much, gio. i know you'll stay on this story. and last night, we told you about a young woman in chicago. her death moved to the center of the debate about gun violence in america. hadiya pendleton, 15 years old, a majorette in her high school band, gunned down in chicago, days after taking part in the inauguration festivities. well today, a new image of the young woman emerged. and a mayor says she's taking action. abc's alex perez was there. >> reporter: it's been more than a decade since chicago has had a january this bloody. 42 murders so far this month, including 15-year-old hadiya pendleton, that standout student who performed at the president's inauguration festivities. today, we learned she made this anti-gang video when she was just in sixth grade. >> say no to gangs and yes to a great future.
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>> reporter: but hadiya's own future, cut short, when she was caught in gang cross fire tuesday. this city's mayor, rahm emanuel, announcing today 200 chicago police officers from the city's stretched thin force, will move from behind the desk to the streets to target high crime areas. >> we need to work together to protect our greatest resource. the children of the city of chicago. >> reporter: pendleton was with her friends, underneath this shelter, trying to stay out of the rain, when she was shot and killed. and the violence shows no signs of slowing down. since her death on tuesday, six people have been shot and wounded in chicago. chicago closed 2012 with more than 100 murders. and as diane sawyer heard last october, it's all too easy to get a gun here. >> go behind a couple bushes, i bet there are some guns under there. pam bosley lost her son to gang violence. >> if they do it once, they'll do it again. >> reporter: she believes the city's push for more police is a
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good start. and the breath of hope for a city trying to cope. alex perez, abc news, chicago. >> we thank you, alex. and a change of topics now. today, everyone was watching as a superstar performer at the center of a big controversy finally broke her silence. we're talking abbeyon say, and "the star spangled banner." for anyone who doubted she could sing it, she sang it, all alone. here's abc's paula faris. >> reporter: she walked to the front of the stage and faced the music with music. ♪ o say can you see >> reporter: beyonce, belting out the national anthem acapella at her super bowl press conference today. no pre-recorded tracks. ♪ what so proud ly we hailed ♪ ♪ at the twilight's last gleaming ♪
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>> reporter: she now admits she did sing over pre-recorded tracks at the presidential inauguration, sparking controversy. >> beyonce-gate. the crisis in lipia. >> reporter: for ten days she's been silent. today, she came clean. >> any questions? >> reporter: immediately setting the record straight. >> due to the weather, due to the delay, due to no proper sound check, i did not feel comfortable taking a risk. i decided to sing along with my pre-recorded track. >> reporter: in fact, beyonce says it was always the plan to sing with a pre-recorded track. >> the inauguration was, unfortunately, a time where i could not rehearse with the orchestra, actually because i was practicing for the super bowl. so, it was always the plan. >> reporter: no response from the white house, but democratic strategist donna brazile tweeting, "beyonce has come clean and told the truth. god bless america." hip hop icon russell simons simply tweets, "beyonce killed
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it." she's been preparing for the super bowl for five months and today, she made this promise. >> i will absolutely be singing live. i am well rehearsed. and i will absolutely be singing live. this is what i was born to do. >> reporter: diane, the super bowl typically the most watched television event of the year. 100 million people expected to tune in. that's four times more than watched the inauguration, so, you're talking about a big stage for beyonce. >> that was a nervy performance today. >> reporter: it was. >> it was something else. thank you so much, paula. and still ahead on "world news," we're going to tell you about a new crime spree, revealing crafty new ways thieves know how to target your home when you're away. if there was a pill to help protect your eye health as you age... would you take it? well, there is. [ male announcer ] it's called ocuvite. a vitamin totally dedicated to your eyes,
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ransacking their house. a family's nightmare, especially if you inadvertently laid out a welcome mat to thieves. this alleged burglary ring in southern california, a stunning case and point. the thieves managing to get a newspaper's list of all those away on vacation, who wanted their papers held. there may be up to 100 victims. people who came home to find they'd been cleaned out, everything from jewelry to instruments to bikes, even the coffee pot gone. another modern day red flag, all those facebook pictures you post while off visiting the grand canyon, the beach and the snow. you might as well leave your front door wide open. >> you case the online profile. that's the modern way. >> reporter: if anyone knows, it's walter shaw. the fbi says the former burglar and jewel thief pulled off more than 3,000 break-ins. he's reformed now and even has a book and film about his and his
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family's life of crime. >> do the normal stuff they did 20, 30 years ago, go on vacation without bragging about where they're going. >> reporter: another tip, timers for television and lights. but not just any timers. the best way to fool them? timers that go off at random times of the day or night. reformed thieves share these secrets. expensive flower pots, decorations and kids toys left outside usually suggest nice things inside. if it snows while you're away, have a neighbor create car and foot tracks. and ask them to pick up your mail and newspapers. avoid that vacation hold. all ways to avoid seeing this. >> and he's in my house. i'm seeing him walking around my house. he's in my bedroom right now. please get somebody there quickly. >> reporter: while your family is supposed to be off relaxing. cecilia vega, abc news, los angeles. and coming up right here, is this the real life jaws? a surprise appearance in our "instant index" tonight.
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♪ i wish my patients could see what i see. ♪ that over time, having high cholesterol and any of these risk factors can put them at increased risk for plaque buildup in their arteries. so it's even more important to lower their cholesterol, and that's why, when diet and exercise alone aren't enough, i prescribe crestor. in a clinical trial versus lipitor, crestor got more high-risk patients' bad cholesterol to a goal of under 100. [ female announcer ] crestor is not right for everyone. like people with liver disease or women who are nursing, pregnant or may become pregnant. tell your doctor about other medicines you're taking. call your doctor right away if you have muscle pain or weakness, feel unusually tired, have loss of appetite, upper belly pain, dark urine or yellowing of skin or eyes. these could be signs of rare but serious side effects. ♪ is your cholesterol at goal? talk to your doctor about crestor. [ female announcer ] if you can't afford your medication, astrazeneca may be able to help.
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constipated? yeah. mm. some laxatives like dulcolax can cause cramps. but phillips' caplets don't. they have magnesium. for effective relief of occasional constipation. thanks. [ phillips' lady ] live the regular life. phillips'. [ male announcer ] when it comes to the financial obstacles military families face, we understand. our financial advice is geared specifically to current and former military members and their families. [ laughs ]
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dad! dad! [ applause ] [ male announcer ] life brings obstacles. usaa brings retirement advice. call or visit us online. we're ready to help. learn more with our free usaa retirement guide. call 877-242-usaa. mommy's having a french fry. yes she is, yes she is. [ bop ] [ male announcer ] could've had a v8. 100% vegetable juice, with three of your daily vegetable servings in every little bottle. our "instant index" tonight begins with two surprises from the animal kingdom. 110 days until summer, and word today, we're going to need a bigger boat. yep, that's a great white, a real life jaws, you see there, trolling the waters off long island here in new york today. it is 16 feet long, 3,500 pounds.
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researchers have been searching the movement of this very shark with gps and she swam 1,000 miles, from jacksonville, florida, all the way to new york. and she's still swimming out there tonight. and a letter carrier reminded us today it is not always postman versus dog. here is the video that landed in our inbox. a mailman in cape cod, massachusetts, greeted at the white picket fence by a golden retriever, not with a snarl, but an enthusiastic offer of help. listen. >> go give it to them! that's all i got! have a nice day. go give it to them! best part of my day. >> nice part of our day, too. and the one and only oprah today proved maybe you can be too popular on your birthday. look, there she is on her 59th, surrounded by flowers. among them, a giant arrangement from actor and director tyler perry. so big, oprah says she sprained her back lifting it.
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she tweeted, quote, in bed with an ice pack most of the day, end quote. perry responded, saying, next year, for oprah's 60th, she's going to get a single rose. and if there's something out there you see or hear or love for our "instant index," tweet it to me, @dianesawyer. and coming up, something new. are you about to see the funniest super bowl commercial ever? and what's the funniest moment from the past? see if you agree with us. hi, i'm phil mickelson.
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i've been fortunate to win on golf's biggest stages. but when joint pain and stiffness from psoriatic arthritis hit, even the smallest things became difficult. i finally understood what serious joint pain is like. i talked to my rheumatologist and he prescribed enbrel. enbrel can help relieve pain, stiffness, and stop joint damage. enbrel may lower your ability to fight infections. serious, sometimes fatal events including infections, tuberculosis, lymphoma, other cancers, nervous system and blood disorders, and allergic reactions have occurred.
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before starting enbrel, your doctor should test you for tuberculosis and discuss whether you've been to a region where certain fungal infections are common. you should not start enbrel if you have an infection like the flu. tell your doctor if you're prone to infections, have cuts or sores, have had hepatitis b, have been treated for heart failure, or if you have symptoms such as persistent fever, bruising, bleeding, or paleness. [ phil ] get back to the things that matter most. ask your rheumatologist if enbrel is right for you. [ doctor ] enbrel, the number one biologic medicine prescribed by rheumatologists. and finally tonight, the big game, just three days away. and we are emboldened tonight to bring you our opinion of the
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funniest moments in the funniest super bowl ads ever. do you agree? and how about seeing some new ones? here's abc's david wright. >> reporter: for as long as there's been a super bowl. ♪ the madison avenue approach has been -- sex sells. >> bud. >> wise. >> er. >> reporter: but funny sells even better. >> the corolla's cabin is so quiet, we've locked our friend inside with ferocious sleeping badgers. >> reporter: time sometimes it eelgs extreme humor. >> if awakened, they'll gnaw his face off. >> reporter: like this toyota commercial from super bowl xlii. this year, taco bell has an ad aimed at aging baby boomers. ♪ rebechling all the way back to the nursing home. >> dad? where do babies come from? >> ah -- oh. >> reporter: this year, one of the funniest ads features a dad's fantastic response to an
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innocent question. >> and that, son, is where babies come from. >> but jake said babies are made when mommies and daddies -- >> reporter: it's enough to make my parent smile. but are you more likely to buy the mini van? maybe not, according to a new harvard business school study. >> too much entertainment actually detracts people from buying products. >> reporter: case in point, what may be the funniest super bowl ad ever. >> being a cat herder is probably about the toughest thing i've ever done. >> reporter: an old west parody. for a data processing company. >> not everyone can do what we do. >> reporter: but can you name the product? we couldn't. so but we sure did like the ad. david wright, abc news, los angeles. >> and let us know what you think. let david wright know, and me, on twitter. and thank you for watching. we're always working for you at "nightline" will be along later at its new time, 12:35 a.m.
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eastern. and we'll see you right back here again tomorrow night. good night.
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